ARLINGTON, Texas – Tyron Smith had never missed two games in one season, much less two straight games, since joining the Cowboys as a first-round pick in 2011.
The All-Pro left tackle admittedly had a tough time watching his teammates grind out two victories over the Bears and 49ers while he sat out with a back injury. He returned to the lineup Sunday against the Bengals' vaunted defensive line and helped the Cowboys produce 402 total yards, including 180 on the ground, in a dominant 28-14 victory.
"It's frustrating being out, but it's a great feeling to be back with your guys," Smith said. "They're like brothers and just happy to be back with them."
The Cowboys had depth questions at tackle all week with Smith working his way back from injury and his backup, Chaz Green, injuring his foot in Week 3 as Smith's replacement against the 49ers.
Smith, who also missed preseason time with a stinger, was able to participate more in practice during the week and made his 82nd career start Sunday.
He didn't seem limited in the game, moving well in space on run plays, and said afterward he "felt great."
"He's not going to be rusty," left guard Ronald Leary said. "Ty is Ty. I expect him to dominate every play. Usually he does. He's a great football player."